The biological actions of steroid hormones are mediated primarily by their cognate nuclear receptors, which serve as steroid-dependent transcription factors. However, steroids can also execute their functions by modulating intracellular signaling cascades rapidly and independently of transcriptional regulation. Despite the potential significance of such “non-genomic” steroid actions, their biological roles and the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood, particularly with regard to their effects on behavioral regulation. The major steroid hormone in the fruit fly Drosophila is 20-hydroxy-ecdysone (20E), which plays a variety of pivotal roles during development via the nuclear ecdysone receptors. Here we report that DopEcR, a G-protein coupled receptor for ecdysteroids, is involved in activity- and experience-dependent plasticity of the adult central nervous system. Remarkably, a courtship memory defect in rutabaga (Ca2+/calmodulin-responsive adenylate cyclase) mutants was rescued by DopEcR overexpression or acute 20E feeding, whereas a memory defect in dunce (cAMP-specific phosphodiestrase) mutants was counteracted when a loss-of-function DopEcR mutation was introduced. A memory defect caused by suppressing dopamine synthesis was also restored through enhanced DopEcR-mediated ecdysone signaling, and rescue and phenocopy experiments revealed that the mushroom body (MB)—a brain region central to learning and memory in Drosophila—is critical for the DopEcR-dependent processing of courtship memory. Consistent with this finding, acute 20E feeding induced a rapid, DopEcR-dependent increase in cAMP levels in the MB. Our multidisciplinary approach demonstrates that DopEcR mediates the non-canonical actions of 20E and rapidly modulates adult conditioned behavior through cAMP signaling, which is universally important for neural plasticity. This study provides novel insights into non-genomic actions of steroids, and opens a new avenue for genetic investigation into an underappreciated mechanism critical to behavioral control by steroids.
The brain is a prominent target of steroid hormones, which control a variety of neurobiological processes and are critical to the regulation of behavior. Some effects of these hormones involve changes in gene expression and thus emerge slowly, over the course of hours or even days. Other responses to steroids occur rapidly and are independent of transcriptional regulation. Their functions and mechanisms of action are poorly understood, particularly in the context of steroid-mediated control of behavior. Here we show, using the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly), that an unconventional, membrane-bound receptor for the molting hormone ecdysone transmits a novel form of steroid signaling in the adult brain. Our study shows that this novel form of steroid signaling has a robust interface with the classical “memory genes” that encode central components of the so-called cAMP signaling pathway, which is universally important for neuronal and behavioral plasticity. These findings underscore the significance of steroid signaling in memory processing, and provide a foundation for the genetic analysis of rapid, unconventional steroid signaling in behavioral regulation.
The RPS6KA6 gene encodes the p90 ribosomal S6 kinase-4 (RSK4) that is still largely uncharacterized. In this study we identified a new RSK4 transcription initiation site and several alternative splice sites with a 5’RACE approach. The resulting mRNA variants encompass four possible first start codons. The first 15 nucleotides (nt) of exon 22 in mouse and the penultimate exon in both human (exon 21) and mouse (exon 24) RSK4 underwent alternative splicing, although the penultimate exon deleted variant appeared mainly in cell clines, but not in most normal tissues. Demethylation agent 5-azacytidine inhibited the deletion of the penultimate exon whereas two indolocarbazole-derived inhibitors of cyclin dependent kinase 4 or 6 induced deletion of the first 39 nt from exon 21 of human RSK4. In all human cancer cell lines studied, the 90-kD wild type RSK4 was sparse but, surprisingly, several isoforms at or smaller than 72-kD were expressed as detected by seven different antibodies. On immunoblots, each of these smaller isoforms often appeared as a duplet or triplet and the levels of these isoforms varied greatly among different cell lines and culture conditions. Cyclin D1 inhibited RSK4 expression and serum starvation enhanced the inhibition, whereas c-Myc and RSK4 inhibited cyclin D1. The effects of RSK4 on cell growth, cell death and chemoresponse depended on the mRNA variant or the protein isoform expressed, on the specificity of the cell lines, as well as on the anchorage-dependent or -independent growth conditions and the in vivo situation. Moreover, we also observed that even a given cDNA might be expressed to multiple proteins; therefore, when using a cDNA, one needs to exclude this possibility before attribution of the biological results from the cDNA to the anticipated protein. Collectively, our results suggest that whether RSK4 is oncogenic or tumor suppressive depends on many factors.
Yunnan, Guangxi and Henan are the provinces with the most severe HIV epidemic in China, which were also among the first group of areas providing free ART in 2004. However, little comprehensive data are available on prevalence of HIV subtype and baseline drug resistance in drug-naïve populations. In this study, 1746 treatment-naïve HIV-positive individuals were randomly selected from new-reported cases in Henan, Guangxi and Yunnan. Among of them, subtypes and drug resistance of 1159 strains were determined by amplifying and sequencing full-length pol genes. Significantly different distributions of HIV subtypes prevalent in three provinces were identified (P<0.01). CRF08_BC was found dominant in Yunnan (59.8%), while CRF01_AE was dominant in Guangxi (77.3%) and subtype B was dominant in Henan province (93.9%). The total prevalence of drug resistance was 7.1%. The highest prevalence of HIV drug resistance was found in Henan (12.2%), followed by Yunnan (5.6%) and Guangxi (3.3%). The results of this study suggest that genetic drug-resistance should be tested before initiation of ART in China, especially in Henan province. Furthermore, the prevalence of HIV drug resistant strains should be considered separately in different areas in China before the change of different free ART regimens.
Mice with spontaneous mutations in the Sharpin gene develop chronic proliferative dermatitis that is characterized by eosinophilic inflammation of the skin and other organs with increased expression of type 2 cytokines and dysregulated development of lymphoid tissues. The mutant mice share phenotypic features with human hypereosinophilic syndromes. The biological function of SHARPIN and how its absence leads to such a complex inflammatory phenotype in mice are poorly understood. However, recent studies identified SHARPIN as a novel modulator of immune and inflammatory responses. The emerging mechanistic model suggests that SHARPIN functions as an important adaptor component of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex that modulates activation of NF-κB signaling pathway, thereby regulating cell survival and apoptosis, cytokine production and development of lymphoid tissues. In this review, we will summarize the current understanding of the ubiquitin-dependent regulatory mechanisms involved in NF-κB signaling, and incorporate the recently obtained molecular insights of SHARPIN into this pathway. Recent studies identified SHARPIN as an inhibitor of β1-integrin activation and signaling, and this may be another mechanism by which SHARPIN regulates inflammation. Furthermore, the disrupted lymphoid organogenesis in SHARPIN-deficient mice suggests that SHARPIN-mediated NF-κB regulation is important for de novo development of lymphoid tissues.
Sharpin; immune system; inflammation; chronic dermatitis; NF-κB; ubiquitination; lymphoid organogenesis; eosinophilic dermatitis; scaly skin disease
Maternal executive function and household regulation both are critical aspects of optimal childrearing, but their interplay is not understood. We tested the hypotheses that 1) the link between challenging child conduct problems and harsh parenting would be strongest for mothers with poorer executive function and weakest among those with better executive function, and 2) this mechanism would be further moderated by the degree of household chaos.
The socioeconomically diverse sample included 147 mothers of 3-to-7 year old children. Mothers completed questionnaires and a laboratory assessment of executive function.
Consistent with hypotheses, harsh parenting was linked with child conduct problems only among mothers with poorer executive function. This effect was particularly strong in calm, predictable environments, but was not evident in chaotic environments.
Maternal executive function is critical to minimizing harsh parenting in the context of challenging child behavior, but this self-regulation process may not operate well in chaotic environments.
parenting; executive function; emotion regulation; conduct problems
Theranostics; carbon dots; chlorin e6 (Ce6); fluorescence imaging; photodynamic therapy
Preconditioning has been considered promising for the treatment of ischemic flaps. In this study, the therapeutic effect of postconditioning was compared with that of preconditioning during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, and a role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in postconditioning treatment was also explored.
Sixty rats were randomly divided into four groups with 15 rats in each group. Ischemic injury was induced in a rat’s gracilis muscle flap model. Preconditioning and postconditioning were performed respectively on the flaps in the pre-con group and the post-con group. No treatment was given to the flaps in the control group, and flaps without I/R injury were used as a sham control. Muscle viability ratio, histology, and gene expression of iNOS were examined at different time intervals (3, 12, and 18 h).
A significantly higher survival ratio was observed in both the pre-con group (78.98 ± 3.39, 62.74 ± 3.7, and 54.42 ± 4.45 %) and the post-con group (77.42 ± 4.14, 59.74 ± 6.67, and 49.52 ± 4.13 %) than the control group (45.22 ± 3.69, 42.44 ± 3.76, and 33.2 ± 3.29 %) at 3, 12, and 18 h postoperatively (P < 0.05). There was no statistical difference between the pre-con group and the post-con group (P > 0.05). Histological examination showed delayed and attenuated tissue damage in both the pre-con group and the post-con group when compared to that of the control group. A higher expression of iNOS was observed in both the pre-con group and the post-con group than the control group and the sham group (P < 0.05).
Significant improvement of flap survival could be achieved by both preconditioning and postconditioning treatments; however, better protection could be provided by preconditioning. The higher expression of iNOS may play an important role in the therapeutic effect of postconditioning during I/R injury.
Ischemic postconditioning; Ischemic preconditioning; Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury; Inducible nitric oxide synthase
Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan province, where severe HIV prevalence was found in former paid plasma donors. In recent years, the HIV epidemic in men who have sex with men (MSM) increased rapidly in the city. To explore the subtype distribution and genetic characterization of HIV in MSM in Zhengzhou city, phylogenetic analysis was fulfilled based on the full-length gag, pol, and partial env gene. A total of 31 HIV-1-seropositive MSM individuals were enrolled. The full length gag, pol, and partial env gene were amplified and sequenced. Multiple subtypes, including CRF01_AE (45.2%), subtype B (38.7%), and CRF07_BC (16.1%), were identified. Close phylogenetic relationships among our strains with strains from the Henan local area, Hebei MSM population, Beijing area, and Liaoning area were found, suggesting a multiple introduction of HIV into the population. The results will provide clues for prevention and for changes in behavior in the Henan MSM population and also detailed sequence data for vaccine design.
Periostin (POSTN), a recently characterised matricellular protein, is frequently dysregulated in various malignant cancers and promotes tumor metastatic growth. POSTN plays a critical role in the crosstalk between murine breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their niche to permit metastatic colonization. However, whether pro-metastatic capability of POSTN is associated with multipotent potentials of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has not been documented. Here we demonstrate that POSTN promotes a stem cell-like trait and a mesenchymal phenotype in human mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells. Interestingly, ectopic overexpression of POSTN or recombinant POSTN treatment can induce human mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells differentiation into multiple cell lineages that recapitulate part of the multilineage differentiation potentials of MSCs. Moreover, POSTN is highly expressed in bone marrow-derived MSCs and their derived adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts in vitro. Furthermore, POSTN promotes the growth of xenograft tumors in vivo. POSTN-overexpressing human mammary epithelial cells enhance breast tumor growth and metastasis. These data thus provide evidence of a new role for POSTN in mammary epithelial neoplasia and metastasis, suggesting that epithelial cancer cells might acquire CSC-like traits and a mesenchymal phenotype, as well as the multipotent potentials of MSCs to promote tumorigenesis and metastasis. Therefore, targeting POSTN and other extracellular matrix components of tumor microenvironment may help to develop new therapeutical strategies to inhibit tumor metastasis.
This study aimed to investigate the role of real-time B-mode ultrasound in posterior decompression and reduction and to observe the signal changes in spinal cord blood flow in a thoracolumbar burst fracture (TBF). Between February 2004 and December 2008, 138 patients with TBF were divided into group A (108 cases) and group B (30 cases). In group A, under the assistance of real-time B-mode ultrasound, posterior decompression and fracture piece reduction were performed, and we observed the signal changes in spinal cord blood flow. In group B, posterior fenestration was combined with pushing the fracture piece into the fractured vertebral body using an L-shaped operative tool. Presurgical and postsurgical recovery of neurological function was evaluated according to American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) standards, and the range of spinal decompression was determined by measuring the proportion of encroached fracture piece in the spinal canal (spinal stenosis rate) on the computed tomography (CT) image. In group A, 12 patients had a grade A spinal injury according to the Frankel grading system, and there were six cases without neurological recovery. In the other patients, neurological function increased by 1–3 grades. There were no aggravated spinal cord injuries or other serious complications. In group B, three patients were categorized as grade A and there were two cases without neurological recovery. In the other patients, neurological function increased by 1–3 grades. In groups A and B, the postsurgical spinal stenosis rate was significantly lower than the presurgical stenosis rate (P<0.05). The postsurgical spinal stenosis rate in group B was significantly higher compared with group A (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in neurological function recovery between the groups (P>0.05). Real-time B-mode ultrasound is an effective method for posterior decompression and reduction and to observe signal changes in spinal cord blood flow in TBF.
real-time B-mode ultrasound; thoracolumbar burst fracture; posterior decompression; reduction
The BAL1 macrodomain-containing protein and its partner E3 ligase, BBAP, are overexpressed in chemotherapy-resistant lymphomas. BBAP selectively ubiquitylates histone H4 and indirectly promotes early 53BP1 recruitment to DNA damage sites. However, neither BBAP nor BAL1 has been directly associated with a DNA damage response (DDR), and the function of BAL1 remains undefined. Herein, we describe a direct link between rapid and short-lived poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase 1 (PARP1) activation and PARylation at DNA damage sites, PAR-dependent recruitment of the BAL1 macrodomain-containing protein and its partner E3 ligase, local BBAP-mediated ubiquitylation, and subsequent recruitment of the checkpoint mediators 53BP1 and BRCA1. The PARP1-dependent localization of BAL1-BBAP functionally limits both early and delayed DNA damage and enhances cellular viability independent of ATM, MDC1, and RNF8. These data establish that BAL1 and BBAP are bona fide members of a DNA damage response pathway and are directly associated with PARP1 activation, BRCA1 recruitment, and double-strand break repair.
This study shows that the expression of yjcC, an in vivo expression (IVE) gene, and the stress response regulatory genes soxR, soxS, and rpoS are paraquat inducible in Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43. The deletion of rpoS or soxRS decreased yjcC expression, implying an RpoS- or SoxRS-dependent control. After paraquat or H2O2 treatment, the deletion of yjcC reduced bacterial survival. These effects could be complemented by introducing the ΔyjcC mutant with the YjcC-expression plasmid pJR1. The recombinant protein containing only the YjcC-EAL domain exhibited phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity; overexpression of yjcC has lower levels of cyclic di-GMP. The yjcC deletion mutant also exhibited increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, oxidation damage, and oxidative stress scavenging activity. In addition, the yjcC deletion reduced capsular polysaccharide production in the bacteria, but increased the LD50 in mice, biofilm formation, and type 3 fimbriae major pilin MrkA production. Finally, a comparative transcriptome analysis showed 34 upregulated and 29 downregulated genes with the increased production of YjcC. The activated gene products include glutaredoxin I, thioredoxin, heat shock proteins, chaperone, and MrkHI, and proteins for energy metabolism (transporters, cell surface structure, and transcriptional regulation). In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that YjcC positively regulates the oxidative stress response and mouse virulence but negatively affects the biofilm formation and type 3 fimbriae expression by altering the c-di-GMP levels after receiving oxidative stress signaling inputs.
Excessive circular fatty acid, particlarly saturated fatty acid, can result in insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, but other adverse effects of fatty acid accumulation in myocytes remain unclear.
Differentiated C2C12 myotubes were used. The effects of palmitate on cell viability, glucose uptake, gene expression and myotube loss were evaluated by MTT assay, 2NBDG uptake, qRT-PCR, Western Blot and crystal staining-based myotube counting, respectively. In some expreiments, oleate was administrated, or the inhibitors of signaling pathways were applied.
Palmitate-induced cellular insulin resistance was clarified by the reduced Akt phosphorylation, glucose uptake and Glut4 expression. Palmitate-caused myotube loss was clearly observed under microscope and proved by myotube counting and expression analysis of myotube marker genes. Moreover, palmitate-induced transcriptional suppression of three health benefit myokine genes (FNDC5, CTRP15 and FGF21) was found, and the different involvement of p38 and PI3K in the transcription of these genes was noticed.
Palmitate-induced insulin resistance accompanys myotube loss and the impaired expression of FNDC5, CTRP15 and FGF21genes in C2C12 myotubes. These results provide novel evidence indicating the negative role of high concentration of palmitate in myotubes.
Palmitate; Myotube loss; Myokine; Insulin resistance
The effect of acetic acid on hepatic lipid metabolism in ruminants differs significantly from that in monogastric animals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the regulation mechanism of acetic acid on the hepatic lipid metabolism in dairy cows. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway plays a key role in regulating hepatic lipid metabolism. In vitro, bovine hepatocytes were cultured and treated with different concentrations of sodium acetate (neutralized acetic acid) and BML-275 (an AMPKα inhibitor). Acetic acid consumed a large amount of ATP, resulting in an increase in AMPKα phosphorylation. The increase in AMPKα phosphorylation increased the expression and transcriptional activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α, which upregulated the expression of lipid oxidation genes, thereby increasing lipid oxidation in bovine hepatocytes. Furthermore, elevated AMPKα phosphorylation reduced the expression and transcriptional activity of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c and the carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein, which reduced the expression of lipogenic genes, thereby decreasing lipid biosynthesis in bovine hepatocytes. In addition, activated AMPKα inhibited the activity of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Consequently, the triglyceride content in the acetate-treated hepatocytes was significantly decreased. These results indicate that acetic acid activates the AMPKα signaling pathway to increase lipid oxidation and decrease lipid synthesis in bovine hepatocytes, thereby reducing liver fat accumulation in dairy cows.
To study the dynamics of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) and its association with virologic and immunologic failure as well as mortality among patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in China.
We recruited 365 patients on cART in two rural Chinese counties in 2003–2004 and followed them every 6 months until May 2010.
Virologic failure, HIVDR, immunologic failure and death were documented. We used Kaplan–Meier and the proportional hazards models to identify the timing of the events, and risk factors for mortality.
At the end of study, patients had been followed for 1974.3 person-years, a median of 6.1 years. HIVDR mutations were found in 235 (64.4%) patients and 75 died (20.5%, 3.8/100 person-years). Median time from cART to detection of virologic failure was 17.5 months, to HIVDR 36.6 months and to immunologic failure 55.2 months (≈18-month median interval between each adverse milestone). Being male, having a baseline CD4+ cell count of less than 50 cells/μl and HIVDR were associated with higher mortality. Patients who developed HIVDR in the first year of treatment had higher mortality than those developing HIVDR later (adjusted hazard ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.01–3.48).
HIVDR was common and was associated with higher mortality among Chinese patients on cART, particular when HIVDR was detected early in therapy. Our study reinforces the importance of improving patient adherence to cART in order to delay the emergence of HIVDR and obviate the need to switch to costly second-line drug regimens too early.
antiretroviral therapy; China; cohort; drug resistance; immunologic failure; mortality; virologic failure
We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for hypothesis 1, and consistent with hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts.
parenting; executive function; environment; socioeconomic status
We sought to elucidate the effects of different concentrations of dietary selenium on calcium ion release, MLCK levels, and muscle contraction in the uterine smooth muscle of rats. The selenium (Se) content of blood and of uterine smooth muscle tissues was detected by fluorescence spectrophotometry. Ca2+ content was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Calmodulin (CaM) and MLCK RNA and protein levels were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot, respectively. Dietary Se intake increased the Se levels in the blood and in uterine smooth muscle tissues and increased the Ca2+ concentration in uterine smooth muscle tissues. The addition of Se also promoted CaM expression and enhanced MLCK activation in uterine smooth muscle tissues. In conclusion, Ca2+, CaM, and MLCK were regulated by Se in uterine smooth muscle; Se plays a major role in regulating smooth muscle contraction in the uterus.
Selenium; Ca2+; CaM; MLCK; Uterine smooth muscle
In the title compound, C17H14F2O3, the dihedral angle between the benzene rings is 20.56 (8)° and the H atoms at the central propenone group are trans configured. One of the F atoms is disordered over two positions (occupancy ratio 0.57:0.43) and was refined using a split model. In the crystal, the molecules are linked into centrosymmetrical dimers and are further connected into a three-dimensional network via weak C—H⋯O interactions.
The covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) plays an essential role in chronic hepatitis. The cellular repair system is proposed to convert cytoplasmic nucleocapsid (NC) DNA (partially double-stranded DNA) into cccDNA in the nucleus. Recently, antiviral cytidine deaminases, AID/APOBEC proteins, were shown to generate uracil residues in the NC-DNA through deamination, resulting in cytidine-to-uracil (C-to-U) hypermutation of the viral genome. We investigated whether uracil residues in hepadnavirus DNA were excised by uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG), a host factor for base excision repair (BER). When UNG activity was inhibited by the expression of the UNG inhibitory protein (UGI), hypermutation of NC-DNA induced by either APOBEC3G or interferon treatment was enhanced in a human hepatocyte cell line. To assess the effect of UNG on the cccDNA viral intermediate, we used the duck HBV (DHBV) replication model. Sequence analyses of DHBV DNAs showed that cccDNA accumulated G-to-A or C-to-T mutations in APOBEC3G-expressing cells, and this was extensively enhanced by UNG inhibition. The cccDNA hypermutation generated many premature stop codons in the P gene. UNG inhibition also enhanced the APOBEC3G-mediated suppression of viral replication, including reduction of NC-DNA, pre-C mRNA, and secreted viral particle-associated DNA in prolonged culture. Enhancement of APOBEC3G-mediated suppression by UNG inhibition was not observed when the catalytic site of APOBEC3G was mutated. Transfection experiments of recloned cccDNAs revealed that the combination of UNG inhibition and APOBEC3G expression reduced the replication ability of cccDNA. Taken together, these data indicate that UNG excises uracil residues from the viral genome during or after cccDNA formation in the nucleus and imply that BER pathway activities decrease the antiviral effect of APOBEC3-mediated hypermutation.
Human cytidine deaminases, AID/APOBECs, are restriction factors against various types of viruses. These proteins have the ability to introduce a cytidine-to-uridine (C-to-U) hypermutation in the viral DNAs of the hepadnaviruses hepatitis B virus (HBV) and duck HBV (DHBV) models. It is well known that uracil residues in human genomic DNA are removed by uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG), resulting in the creation of abasic sites that are repaired by downstream repair factors. However, the consequence of uracil removal from the viral genomic DNA remains controversial, given that it may be possible for abasic sites to trigger DNA degradation with strand breakage. We investigated the role of UNG in viral hypermutation and hepadnaviruses replication using in vitro cell culture systems. We found that UNG inhibition enhanced APOBEC3G-induced hypermutation of hepadnaviral DNAs, especially DHBV cccDNA, a template used for viral replication in the nucleus. We measured the replication ability of purified cccDNA and found that recloned cccDNA from cells expressed by both APOBEC3G and UNG inhibitor protein replicated less efficiently due to higher hypermutation rates. These results suggest that hepadnaviruses usurp the repair system of host cells to compete with AID/APOBEC mutators.
Despite a large amount of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been validated to play crucial roles in human biology and disease, there is little systematic insight into the nature and scale of the potential synergistic interactions executed by miRNAs themselves. Here we established an integrated parameter synergy score to determine miRNA synergy, by combining the two mechanisms for miRNA-miRNA interactions, miRNA-mediated gene co-regulation and functional association between target gene products, into one single parameter. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that synergy score accurately identified the gene ontology-defined miRNA synergy (AUC = 0.9415, p<0.001). Only a very small portion of the random miRNA-miRNA combinations generated potent synergy, implying poor expectancy of widespread synergy. However, targeting more key genes made two miRNAs more likely to act synergistically. Compared to other miRNAs, miR-21 was a highly exceptional case due to frequent appearance in the top synergistic miRNA pairs. This result highlighted its essential role in coordinating or strengthening physiological and pathological functions of other miRNAs. The synergistic effect of miR-21 and miR-1 were functionally validated for their significant influences on myocardial apoptosis, cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. The novel approach established in this study enables easy and effective identification of condition-restricted potent miRNA synergy simply by concentrating the available protein interactomics and miRNA-target interaction data into a single parameter synergy score. Our results may be important for understanding synergistic gene regulation by miRNAs and may have significant implications for miRNA combination therapy of cardiovascular disease.
It is generally believed that CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a critical role in limiting the replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and in determining the outcome of the infection, and this effect may partly depend on which HIV product is preferentially targeted. To address the correlation between HIV-1-specific CTL responses and virus replication in a cohort of former plasma donors (FPDs), 143 antiretroviral therapy naive FPDs infected with HIV-1 clade B' strains were assessed for HIV-1-specific CTL responses with an IFN-γ Elispot assay at single peptide level by using overlapping peptides (OLPs) covering the whole consensus clade B proteome. By using a Spearman's rank correlation analysis, we found that the proportion of Gag-specific CTL responses among the total virus-specific CTL activity was inversely correlated with viral loads while being positively correlated to CD4 counts, as opposed to Pol- and Env-specific responses that were associated with increased viral loads and decreased CD4 counts. In addition, Vpr-specifc CTL responses showed a similar protective effect with Gag responses, but with a much lower frequency of recognition. Significantly, we also observed an association between HLA-A*30/B*13/Cw*06 haplotype and lower viral loads that was probably due to restricted Gag-specific CTL responses. Thus, our data demonstrate the prominent role of Gag-specific CTL responses in disease control. The advantage of HLA-A*30/B*13/Cw*06 haplotype in viral control may be associated with the contribution of Gag-specific CTL responses in the studied individuals.
human immunodeficiency virus type 1; cytotoxic T lymphocytes; human leukocyte antigen class I; Gag
A nanoscale RGD–pyrene–graphene oxide (GO) biosensor was prepared for real-time in situ detection of a cancer cell surface marker, integrin αvβ3. This nanoscale GO-based biosensor is simple, robust, sensitive and of high selectivity. It can also be adapted to other cancer cell surface marker evaluation systems.
Voltage-gated ion channels are essential for electrical signaling in neurons and other excitable cells. Among them, voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels are four-domain proteins, and ion selectivity is strongly influenced by a ring of amino acids in the pore regions of these channels. Sodium channels contain a DEKA motif (i.e., amino acids D, E, K, and A at the pore positions of domains I, II, III, and IV, respectively), whereas voltage-gated calcium channels contain an EEEE motif (i.e., acidic residues, E, at all four positions). Recently, a novel family of ion channel proteins that contain an intermediate DEEA motif has been found in a variety of invertebrate species. However, the physiological role of this new family of ion channels in animal biology remains elusive. DSC1 in Drosophila melanogaster is a prototype of this new family of ion channels. In this study, we generated two DSC1 knockout lines using ends-out gene targeting via homologous recombination. DSC1 mutant flies exhibited impaired olfaction and a distinct jumpy phenotype that is intensified by heat shock and starvation. Electrophysiological analysis of the giant fiber system (GFS), a well-defined central neural circuit, revealed that DSC1 mutants are altered in the activities of the GFS, including the ability of the GFS to follow repetitive stimulation (i.e., following ability) and response to heat shock, starvation, and pyrethroid insecticides. These results reveal an important role of the DSC1 channel in modulating the stability of neural circuits, particularly under environmental stresses, likely by maintaining the sustainability of synaptic transmission.
Voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels are four-domain proteins that are essential for electrical signaling in neurons and other excitable cells. Recent genomic and functional analyses reveal a novel family of four-domain, Ca2+-selective cation channels in a variety of invertebrates, from sea anemones to insects. The amino acid sequences and gating properties of these channels appear to be intermediate between sodium and calcium channels; as such, these channels could potentially be an important evolutionary link between sodium and calcium channels. Despite the intriguing nature of this family of cation channels, their role in animal physiology remains mysterious. In this study, taking advantage of the genetic tractability of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we examined the physiological role of such a channel, called DSC1, in this model insect. We generated two DSC1 knockout lines and conducted behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. Our results show that the DSC1 channel contributes to neuronal excitability regulation and plays a unique role in retaining stability of the nervous system function in response to environmental stresses, including heat shock and starvation. Interestingly, the DSC1 knockout flies were also more susceptible to pyrethroid insecticides, which are used globally as a major weapon against the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Background & objectives:
Drug resistance is the primary cause of failure in the treatment of cancers. It has been suggested that the enhancement of DNA repair capability may be responsible for the drug resistance of the tumour cells, and poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation plays an important role in DNA repair. This study investigated the effect of PARP inhibitor 3-aminobenzamide (3-AB) on the cisplatin resistance and proliferation of the cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer C13* cells in vitro.
C13* cells were treated with various concentrations of 3-AB in vitro. MTT assay was used to determine the effect of 3-AB on the cisplatin sensitivity and proliferation of cells. The expression levels of PARP-1 mRNA and protein in the C13* cells were examined using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot, and changes caused by 3-AB treatment were investigated. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to detect the localization and expression of the PARP-1 proteins before and after treatment with 5 mmol/l 3-AB.
The inhibitory ratio and the cisplatin sensitivity of C13* cells significantly increased with the increase of the concentration of 3-AB (P<0.05). The RT-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of PARP-1 mRNA was decreased when platinum (Pt) and 3-AB were combined. The expression levels of PARP-1 protein were decreased by 23.15 ± 2.53, 59.11 ± 2.23 and 73.24 ± 3.88 per cent, respectively, in C13* cells with the increase of the concentration of 3-AB (P<0.05). The immunofluorescence microscopy results indicated that the expression level of PARP-1 protein was significantly decreased after treatment with 3-AB (P<0.05).
Interpretation & conclusions:
3-AB inhibited the proliferation activity of C13* cells, and increased the cellular sensitivity to cisplatin. Our findings show that the PARP inhibitor 3-AB can downregulate the expression of PARP-1 at transcriptional and translational levels in C13* cells.
3-aminobenzamide; cisplatin; drug resistance; ovarian cancer; poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation
B cells infected by Epstein-Barr-Virus (EBV), a transforming virus endemic in humans, are rapidly cleared by the immune system, but some cells harboring the virus persist for life. Under conditions of immunosuppression EBV can spread from these cells and cause life threatening pathologies. We have generated mice expressing the transforming EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), mimicking a constitutively active CD40 coreceptor, specifically in B cells. Like human EBV infected cells, LMP1+ B cells were efficiently eliminated by T cells, and breaking immune surveillance resulted in rapid, fatal lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis. The lymphoma cells expressed ligands for a natural killer (NK) cell receptor, NKG2D, and could be targeted by an NKG2D-Fc fusion protein. These experiments indicate a central role for LMP1 in the surveillance and transformation of EBV infected B cells in vivo, establish a pre-clinical model for B cell lymphomagenesis in immunosuppressed patients, and validate a novel therapeutic approach.